Overview and prerequisites

The deployment process consists of three stages:

  1. Choosing storage locations and importing vCFA VM.

  2. Configuring and booting the imported vCFA VM.

  3. Setting up the vCFA.

Before starting, consider the following recommendations for a Hyper-V server that’ll host the vCFA VM:

  • At least 2 CPU cores and 8 GB of RAM available (not already used by other VMs or the host system)

  • 180 GB of storage with low latency (preferably an SSD attached locally to the host machine) for the catalog volume

  • At least 2 TB of high throughput storage to house the storage volume

Step 1. Choose virtual disk locations and import the virtual machine

Before going any further, decide where you’re going to store the VM and virtual disk (VHD) files.

For optimal performance, there are a number of factors to consider when deciding where to locate the VM and virtual disk files. At a minimum, the files should be stored separately from other VM files to avoid disk contention and other performance degrading issues. If you have an SSD available on the server, this would be an ideal location for the catalog volume since it’ll see a very high level of traffic. The catalog volume holds, among other things, the database that’s used by the system for bookkeeping, tracking, and so on, and performance benefits from having low latency to this volume.

Select location for the catalog virtual disk file

Decide where you want to store the catalog virtual disk file (catalog.vhd) and create a new folder there.

This disk should reside on the highest performing storage hardware you have. If you have an SSD, put it there, otherwise choose a low-latency RAID or similar storage device. If not using an SSD, try to use a physical storage device separate from your other VM files.

Select location for the boot and storage virtual disk files

Decide where you want to store the boot (boot.vhd) and the storage (storage.vhd) virtual disk files and create a new folder there. Remember, select a location that’s preferably on a separate physical device from all your other VM disk files. Ideally this device would be a high throughput RAID, or similar. If you don’t have an SSD, try to put these files on a separate device from where you put the catalog disk files.

Getting and unpack the virtual machine

Download the vCFA ZIP-file, and unzip this file in a temporary location. Once the import is complete, these files will no longer be needed and can be deleted.

Import the virtual machine

Open Hyper-V Manager, and click Action > Import Virtual Machine.

Tip

If you have a VM selected, this option won’t appear in the menu. Make sure nothing is selected if you don’t see the import item in the menu.

In the Locate Folder dialog, browse to the location you unpacked the ZIP-file, and select the folder created earlier.

Click Next twice. In the Choose Import Type dialog, select Copy the virtual machine. This will ensure that the VM gets assigned a new UUID.

Click Next. In the Choose Folders for Virtual Machine Files dialog, select Store the virtual machine in a different location. Now, recalling the folder you created earlier for storing VM files, specify that folder in all of the text boxes. You can either enter it directly or browse to it using the Browse button.

Click Next. In the Choose Folders to Store Virtual Hard Disks dialog, specify that folder in the text box.

Click Next and review the results. Confirm that all settings are correct, and then click Finish to start importing.

Once complete, a newly created VM will be available in the list of virtual machines.

Open Windows Explorer, and move catalog.vhd to the folder created earlier.

Step 2. Configure and boot the imported virtual cloud failover appliance

In Hyper-V Manager, right-click the newly created VM, and then click Settings.

Click SCSI Controller, and then select the Hard Drive entry for catalog.vhd.

You need to fix the path to the VHD file since you moved it from where it was imported.

In the Media group on the right, click Browse. Find catalog.vhd, and then select it to set the new location. Click Apply.

Click Network Adapter. From the Virtual switch drop-down list, select the virtual network for the vCFA. If there are multiple choices, select the one most appropriate based on your network infrastructure.

It’s recommended that you set a static MAC address. By default, Hyper-V randomly creates MAC addresses, and if the MAC address changes, the network settings will be lost. Select static and assign a MAC address that doesn’t conflict with any other system on your network. Click Network Adapter on the left, and then select Advanced Features. In the MAC address group, select Static, and then enter the MAC address.

Click OK to save changes.

If you add additional NICs to the vCFA, make sure they’re also set up with static MAC addresses.

Step 3. Initial setup of the virtual data protection appliance

Once the VM is configured, it’s time to boot it for the first time. During this initial boot, the vCFA will try to get an IP address via DHCP, and once it has finished booting, it’ll display this address in its console.

Go to the vCFA Management Console at that IP in your browser, and log in with the default credentials: username — admin, password — rvxd2d2d.

Enter the license key, or your Infrascale Dashboard credentials to select.

At the Configure Storage screen, there are 3 lists of disks. On the left is a list of available drive that haven’t been assigned, and on the right is a list of storage disks, and catalog disks. To assign a disk to one of these categories, select the box next to the disk, and then click the right arrow (>>) next to the list you want to assign that disk to. Disks assigned to storage are used to store backup data, and disks assigned to the catalog volume will be used for the databases to manage backup jobs and deduplicated data.

A summary screen is shown. Review you selected storage layout and then click Finish.

After you click Finish, the vCFA will reboot. During this boot the disks are formatted, and the deduplicated storage is created. This can take a long time, but please don’t shut down or reboot the vCFA until this has finished. Once the vCFA has finished booting, log in to the Management Console again. You’ll be shown the end user license agreement. Read the agreement and accept the terms and conditions.

Complete the Quick Start Wizard to initially configure the vCFA and start using it.